Community Energy 1: New Models and Innovative Initiatives Shaping the Future of Community Energy

  • Session Topic
    Community Energy

Community Energy 1: New Models and Innovative Initiatives Shaping the Future of Community Energy

4 Oct 2016, 11:00 AM - 12:20 PM

Room 216


Keynote Presenter: Enova’s Initiatives in the Community Energy Sector and How it is Transforming Community Energy Models 

As Australia’s first community owned energy retailer and a social enterprise, Enova is breaking exciting new ground as a notable pioneer in the rapidly growing community renewable energy field. The session will outline details of how Enova was created – how it was structured, how this is working, and how the organization went about capital raising and lessons learned. Alison will also discuss the range of product offerings put in place to date, experiences in working with community groups on community scale generation, as well as social benefit projects and education initiatives. 
Alison Crook, Chair, Enova Community Energy


Risk Management and Mitigation in Community Energy Projects

ClearSky Solar Investments is a not-for-profit social impact organization that has pioneered solar energy projects funded by community investors in Australia. Since the launch of the first pilot project in September 2013 CSSI has funded more 14 solar projects across Australia with an installed capacity of 589 kW. New projects are being announced every few months and tend to be oversubscribed within hours. Total investment as at July 2016 was $972,000 with individual investments ranging from  $1000 to $50,000.  Its projects to date have reduced carbon emissions by 1074 tonnes of CO2e. But with its success comes great responsibility. This session will outline the extensive risk mitigation strategies that have been implemented in order to minimise investor risk and manage the various challenges that invariably occur over the lifetime of long-term contracts and power purchase agreements (PPAs). 

Graeme Jessup, Clean Energy for Eternity Northern Beaches 
Huon Hoogesteger, Managing Director, Smart Commercial Solar 


The practicalities of taking the entire village of Tyalgum off the electricity grid

Tyalgum, a small town of around 300 residents in the Northern Rivers region of NSW is working on a big plan – becoming the first town in Australia to voluntarily disconnect from the electricity grid and run the entire village on renewable energy sources. 

Tyalgum Energy Project is rapidly moving into the feasibility stage and the team is currently working on getting an assessment of the real-time tracking of the energy consumption of the village. Although the project will be based significantly on solar, it is hoped that this system may be supplemented with other renewable energy technologies. Some such technologies which are being explored at this point are hydro and bio-mass. Storage methods will be explored on the basis of cost effectiveness and efficiency. Community engagement is a crucial aspect of this project, which is envisioned to be a community owned project. Ensuring that the community has a solid management system in place to efficiently complement their renewable energy system is also of utmost importance. This session will explore progress to date in this exciting project and the next stages realising Tyalgum’s microgrid project.
Kacey Clifford, Project Coordinator & Community Engagement Manager, Tyalgum Energy Project


Case Example: A glance on the growing Community-Owned PV Power Plants

As the public gets more understanding on how to achieve cost saving from renewable technologies; alongside with the growing concern on the environmental issues such as global warming.  More and more local residents across the country are willing to participate in community renewable project one way or the other. Community-owned PV power plants in the last few years are becoming more popular.

Is it possible to build a small utility solar PV farm (or large commercial PV power plant) without government subsidy? What is the benefit of building a solar PV project in your own community and how to make it happen?

Case Study: Sydney Darling Harbour Live PV plant

How we can help: Canadian Solar Involvement in Community-owned PV Projects
Yu Chan, Senior Manager, PV Projects Business, Australia, Canadian Solar (Australia) Pty Ltd


Pingala, developing community owned solar farms in Sydney CBD

April Crawford-Smith, Director, Pingala Energy
Tom Nockolds, Secretary, Pingala Energy


  • Alison Crook AO



    Enova Community Energy

    B.A.(Hons) M.B.A. Dip.Lib Dip. Ed. Hon.D.Univ Hon.D.Litt FALIA FAICD FIPAA Chairperson and one of the founding team engaged in establishing Enova...

  • Graeme Jessup


    Clean Energy for Eternity Northern Beaches

    Graeme Jessup Retired Engineer Member of ClearSky Solar Investments   After several years working in the field of heavy engineering, Graeme...

  • Huon Hoogesteger


    Managing Director

    Smart Commercial Solar

    Coming from a commercial construction background, Huon Hoogesteger started working in the solar industry in 2007.  In 2012, he launched Smart...

  • Kacey Clifford


    Project Coordinator & Community Engagement Manager

    Tyalgum Energy Project

    Kacey Clifford is the Project Coordinator of the Tyalgum Energy Project, a project with very ambitious plans to take the entire village of Tyalgum...

  • Yu Chan


    Senior Manager, PV Projects Business, Australia

    Canadian Solar (Australia) Pty Ltd

    Yu Chan, Senior Manager , PV Projects Business, Australia – Canadian Solar Engineering, Design and Project management for more than 5.5MWdc combined...

  • April Crawford-Smith



    Pingala Energy

    April has been working in the environmental campaigning and community organising sector over many years, now focusing on building self-sufficient...

  • Tom Nockolds



    Pingala Energy

    Tom has an extensive work history and a strong track record of success in various roles and, prior to his career change, held positions as diverse as...

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